Does iMessage use data? Yes. It does unless you explicitly configure it to run on native SMS. iMessage uses cellular data to send movies, pictures, and messages rather than the traditional MMS and SMS protocols. This explains why sending multimedia over iMessage is so fluid and seamless as opposed to what you will experience when using a device that runs on the traditional MMS and SMS protocol.
But just how much data does iMessage need to keep those texts flowing? Apparently, you can get this information in your iOS Settings if you know where to look.
Read Also: How to send audio messages on your iPhone
How to Find How Much Data iMessage is Consuming
- Launch the Settings app and Select the Cellular option
- Scroll to the very bottom and select ‘System Services’
- Find ‘Messaging Services’ in the list and tap on it to see the iMessage cellular data consumption
iMessages data usage varies depending on how you chat and use the service. If you are heavy on images and videos, you will consume more data. A single picture or video could be around 5mb or 10mb. Text, on the other hand, is mere kilobytes.
Since there is no way to prevent iMessages from sending images and video when over mobile data, you’ll have to actively monitor how you use your iMessages.
You can force iMessages to completely fall back to SMS. In this mode, you will need a robust texting plan to cover your SMS and you will also have to live with the fact that any multimedia you send on the SMS/MMS protocol will be highly compressed and of a poor quality.
Altering Your Behavior to Manage Data Use
You can always stick to the more convenient iMessage or cellular data and stick to text as much as you can. Only send images or videos when you are on WiFi. This will cut down on your data consumption.
You should also avoid using iMessage to share files between two devices (iOS and OS X devices) unless you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Alex is an IT technician who shares his experiences with Apple devices occasionally. He has a collection of Apple devices (from iPhone 4) and has recently started trying out Android.
IG: @I M_Alex